As I was procrastinating on reddit the other day I found a course submitted by /u/damaso21 called “Seeing Through Photographs.” It’s a series presented by the Museum of Modern Art’s Sarah Meister, who curates photography for the museum.

The course is free to take, but if you want a Coursera certificate of completion, that’ll cost you $49. The only difference if you take the free course is that after every lesson, you’ll be asked to buy the certificate.

Here’s the link: MoMA: Seeing Through Photographs

Seeing Through Photographs: What’s Covered

I’ve done the first week so far, and it’s definitely something that a lot of time was put into. You start off with interviews with renowned authors and photography historians, and we’re immediately asked to challenge whether we understand what it is we’re doing as photographers. What’s your process? Do you have a process? That’s the point that the series wants us to consider throughout.

The idea of the course is to give a foundation for developing photographers to find a unique creative style. If you are in the mindset of point, click and shoot, and that’s all you know, it’ll be very challenging to try something different and imaginative. It’s hard to see something different if you’re not looking for it.

By learning some art history, you’ll see what it is that other photographers use to develop their creative process. Hopefully that will inspire the confidence to find your own creative style.

If the course had a less abstract title, it would probably be called Photographic Composition History 101 or something along those lines. It’s pretty intense, as the content comes with a good amount of required readings that have been included in the course.

I would recommend checking it out and seeing how far you can get in it. Let me know if you’ve got any thoughts or are stuck on a quiz!